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Reform? Yes Please!
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Essay by:Christine E. Fraker
Emporia State University
We have learned in our economics classes that the greatest debt to our country came during World War II. Since then, we have recognized that the debt exists, but that is it. They have attempted to fix the problem now but the attempts have failed. Our government has all-in-all done nothing to even attempt to mend this huge and growing responsibility.
As users of consumer credit, we as a people are expected to pay back any or all debt that is owed to a specific company who has given us a line of credit. If not, the collection agencies come running for our doors. On a bigger scale, the United States is in a huge debt that we have no intention of paying back right now. Why should our government as a whole be responsible for the spending and borrowing they do? They say most of it goes to the people. I can say with some confidence that there are few people in this country that feel the benefit of this spending directly. It is used to fund our government and its ideas of what is important to the people. My greatest problem with this issue is that what the people see as important spending and what the government sees as important spending tend to be completely different. The legislative and executive branches of our dear democracy are said to represent we citizens. How often do you hear of someone getting something passed through the United States Legislature that a citizen provoked? Not very often is the answer to that question. Well, that is where these essays and multimedia essays come in. We are giving America a voice.
I think the first place to start, in order to reform, is to re-evaluate our priorities. I think number one on this list should be making out a long term plan to start paying back this large amount of debt so that I does not get so far out of hand (as if it has not already) that the future generations of this country do not have to repeat the past. The Great Depression was not only a huge turning point in our history but it was a lesson learned as well. It was a red flag that says “HERE IS WHAT NOT TO DO”. Since then, we have been through many other hardships, maybe not as difficult as they could be but if we do not do something soon, bad things will happen as they have before.
The second thing I think should be on that list is a way to get the American people to begin spending again. A stimulus package is not the answer as far as I am concerned. I think the stimulus is a good idea for right now but that money hardly ever goes directly back into our economy. It goes to credit card and financial corporations that somehow need bailed out because they are close to going bankrupt. You do not see the government bailing out the small hometown business that have been affected by this recession, why do the big corporations deserve it anymore than they do? The American people right now are afraid to invest in the stock market because they think it might crash. Well the only way it will crash is if there is not anyone there to buy stocks, bonds, and/or mutual funds. We control our own financial destiny but we refuse because we have been infused with fear.
Finally, I think our legislature should start listening to its people more than it ever has. If they were to actually sit down and listen to those who have an opinion about what should be done with our spending and the laws that should be enforced, they may actually get insight into the minds of the people they are representing. They cannot get the whole idea by sticking a question on a ballot and giving the people specific choices. I think the American Government has lost faith in its people and instead of listening, they decide what is best in their minds, not what is best in ours. We are the ones living with the decisions the lawmakers make, they are hardly affected by such issues.
Thus, our government has all-in-all done nothing to even attempt to mend this huge and growing responsibility. I think they should rearrange our priorities, try to regain trust from the people, and listen to the people more than they ever have before. If you put faith in the people, they will put their faith in you.
»A new report finds the main problem in getting the public to deal with our fiscal problems isn't opposition to tax increases or spending cuts -- it's their lack of trust in the government to spend their money wisely.